Safety Tips For Your Home This Holiday Season

The National Fire Protection Association safety tips for this holiday season are common sense for many of us, yet we insist on doing many of the things that are dangerous to the safety of our families.

According to The National Fire Protection Association, more than 1/3 of home decoration fires started by candles, and almost half of the home decoration fires started because decorations were placed too close to a heating source.

We enjoy the lights and decorations around the home to help us celebrate the holiday season so much so, that we neglect safety tips that can prevent fires and damages done to our homes.

Safety during the holiday season should be your most important concern, and it’s not very difficult to read safety labels and follow them accordingly. Keep your home safe by following these common-sense safety tips.

  1. Test ALL the smoke detectors in your home.  Replace the batteries and replace the old smoke detectors that are not working properly
  2. Buy a small fire extinguisher.  It can cost you less than $15 dollars and save you thousands.
  3. Keep the fire extinguisher close to the kitchen.  Fires that begin in the kitchen are numerous during the holiday season and can get out of control in a matter of seconds
  4. If cooking extensively during the holidays, make sure children are protected from oil burns, or other stove-related injuries by talking to them ahead of time.  Baking cookies should not be the beginning of a trip to the emergency room
  5. Place the Christmas tree away from the fireplace and any other heating sources
  6. Place candles away from flammables decorations, walls, curtains, or any item that can catch fire quickly.
  7. Indoor lights should not be placed outdoors and vice versa.  Follow the safety instructions from the manufacturer.
  8. Test the Christmas lights before using them.  If the cords are damaged or the lights are old and unreliable, buy a new set.  They are very inexpensive all other expenses considered.
  9. DON’T leave any candles lighted or Christmas tree on if you leave the home.
  10. Books, magazines or newspapers should never be left close to candles or other heating sources

Remember the holiday season is a time of joy.  Keep your loved ones safe during this time of year.


Home Maintenance Tips That Can Save You Money

Spring and summer months are the chosen moths for most people to sell and buy homes.  The curb appeal during these months is enhanced by the vegetation around your home, but the problems are clearly noticeable as well.  Basement and foundation problems are clearly visible if water is sitting on the basement floor of your home during the spring months, and the humidity during the summer months is felt when checking the basement of your home.

If you are selling, buying or just enjoy the feeling of shopping for a new home, here are some tips that you need to check when shopping or selling  a home. Just follow the links below to find out more about this topic.


15 Preventative Home Maintenance Tips That Save You Money

Plus: What regular home repairs can mean for your homeowners insurance.

No doubt there are plenty of benefits of owning your own home: freedom from rent and landlord rules, contributing to an investment, building a home on property that you own, and so on. But let’s face it – being a homeowner also means dealing with costly repairs yourself from time to time.

Every time something breaks or stops working, it feels like it came out of nowhere, and when you head to the hardware store or call a specialist to get a repair quote, your wallet winces at the expense.

But, hark! A spot of good news! Many of the expensive fixes homes often require can actually be prevented if you simply remember to do the proper maintenance. A fix here and a test there can save you some real cash over time.

Make these 15 preventative maintenance tips part of your spring cleaning ritual this year, and set calendar alerts so you remember to stay on top of them in the months and years to come.


Not uncovering problems with home before you buy can cause big headaches later

We purchased a home in Maryland about three years ago. Following the purchase, we discovered that a sunroom addition on the upper and lower levels of the home was built on top of an existing outdoor deck.

The addition does not have a proper foundation or insulation. We found no evidence that the addition was permitted. We consulted with an architect, who advised us that the addition on both levels will need to be removed and completely rebuilt. In the meantime, both rooms are freezing cold in winter and boiling hot in summer due to lack of insulation.

Our home inspection report did not flag the construction of these rooms as a problem, nor did the seller disclose any foundation, structural or latent defects in the residential property disclosure statement. Do we have any recourse with the inspector or the seller?


Home Inspections: Items That Aren’t Deal-Breakers

After making an offer on a home, you’ll enter into a contract. Part of that contract should always include getting a home inspection. It is recommended that any homebuyer make an offer to purchase contingent upon a home inspection. This allows you to withdraw your offer if there are any major issues discovered during an inspection.

More than likely, the home inspector will find problems that need to be fixed before closing. Major foundation issues and significant water damage are at the top of the list of signs to walk away from.

On the other hand, there are some home defects found during an inspection that don’t have to be deal-breakers. Many of them can be fixed, and they can be used to negotiate with the seller for a lower price point or additional help with the closing costs.

Lead-Based Paint
Lead-based paint was banned in 1978, but it’s still possible that you could purchase a home that contains it if it was built before the ban. The sellers should disclose this, but the home inspector may find it, as well.


 

Protecting Your Basement From Spring Rains

Spring weather is here and along with it comes the rain.  It is inevitable that as homeowners we want to ensure the basement of our home is dry and free of humidity, mold or mildew, and that is a safe place to spend time with our kids.  Knowing if you have a problem with your basement, is the first step in solving a problem that may go undetected for years.  The humidity in your basement may be an early indicator to problems with water leaking into the basement of your home.  Taking care of humidity issues right away, ensure your foundation won’t sustain damages that are more troublesome and can jeopardize the structure of your home.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.


Many people associate a wet basement with seeing water, but that’s not the only symptom of a potential problem, according to Wes Pfleiger, marketing manager at Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing.

In addition to water seepage, loose or crumbling mortar between stones and plaster, mold and mildew, musty odors and cracks or dark spots in basement walls and floors can all be signs of a basement with a water problem.

Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing is primed to educate consumers as a vendor at the Northeastern PA Home and Better Living Show April 8 and 9 at the Lodge at Montage, 1000 Montage Mountain Road in Scranton.

The event is presented by the Home Builders Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania and sponsored by Scranton Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Window World and Bath Fitter/Kitchen Saver.

Pfleiger said trained professionals from the 52-year-old company will be on hand at the event to answer “any and all questions” about basement waterproofing. Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing will also offer free, no-obligation basement inspections for home show visitors.


Basement flooding season begins

(WTNH) — I have been lucky to never see basement flooding in my house, but whether you’ve lived in your house for 20, 30, or even 40 years, it does not mean it can’t happen to you. So how do you prevent it from happening in the future, and if it does, what can you do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Well let’s find out.

Weeks of above average rainfall and lots of snow melt have helped us hugely to lower our drought numbers, but with a saturated ground and more rain on the way, your basement may flood over the coming weeks, so what can you do?

“It’s real imperative for residents throughout the state to be looking for signs of water seepage. Is it damp around cracks, and the floor wall seam. Is it damp to the touch? These are all indications that the soil around the outside of the house is over saturated and it could be poised to flood any time,” said Mike Lane, Sales, Connecticut Basement Systems.

There are some things you can do to help prevent this. Buy gutter extenders to keep water from dripping close to your foundation, and try to make sure that if you live on a hill, rain water gets routed away from your home. If all else fails, call a professional.